My wife is a real trooper! I don't think she fully understood what she was getting into when she married a youth minister! She has stuck with me through good times, criticism, toilet paper in the front yard, and much more.
One of the first impressions of youth ministry was when she accompanied us on our annual float trip. We had just started dating and things were going great! I got to introduce her to my youth ministry buddies, and I was bouncing off the walls with excitement!
Everything started off great. Friday night we had an awesome time of games, a devotional, and fun fellowship.
On Saturday morning, all the kids were buzzing about the float trip coming up after lunch. As we were dividing into groups for the rafts, I was pleased to see that the teen girls swarmed my future-wife...wanting to be in her raft. (Yes! That means they like her!)
Of course, the boys in my raft didn't want to float...they wanted to RACE! So, we flew down the river in no time at all. We literally left everyone else in our wake!
When we returned, I hurried to take a shower. After that I went up to the main hall to wait for my girlfriend and ask how her trip went.
Several of the girls came in, falling over themselves with excitement. They rushed over and began to tell me a story all at once. As soon as they slowed down, I learned that one of the girls had seen a water snake, freaked out, tried to hit it with an oar (she thought it would get in the boat) and clobbered my girlfriend in the head with it on the backswing!
At that point, Tracy came in holding her head. I could tell she was really hurt. The bump on her head was huge! She was really patient, though...reassuring the teen girl that she was OK (and she wasn't going to sue her!)
A few months later, one of my youth minister buddies gave me a book as a gift. In it, he wrote, "I appreciate your friendship and your ministry. Now...marry Tracy already!"
We were engaged six months later. Thanks for the good advice, Tim!